The word is a pleasant one. It rolls off the tongue and evokes images of calm and acquiescence.
In essence, the meaning of the word would be to dip fully; to involve oneself deeply.
Bistro Gitan hopes you’ll do exactly that.
Since we are in the mood anyway, it’s probably best to harmonise with their invitation.
So, off we go to sample the taste of French charm and contemporary fare in a venue that happily takes diners away to another era, without having to leave their own world.
You too will be happily transported.
Charm and Comfort
Welcoming and cosy may seem like an understatement to new diners experiencing Bistro Gitan.
The interiors are fresh, clean and perfectly suited to the style of dining in which these restaurants owners had in mind from the beginning.
The design of the interiors allows for small intimate dinners with a special person, but surprisingly has the space to cater for larger groups or family gatherings.
A nice option for diners who are looking for the benefit of versatile dining experiences.
Modern Australian, in particular South Yarra, tastes have evolved over the past years.
Gone are the days when diners were happy to accept the ordinary or mundane when eating away from their own fully capable kitchens.
Quite a feat for the owners of Bistro Gitan, but something tells me their lineage would never allow the pedestrian attempts so many of us have endured.
Taking inspiration and named after Europe’s Gypsy travellers, Bistro Gitan walks a line between traditional and mouth-watering French bistro fare and the satisfying mix of Spain and its own gastronomical flair.
This is a merging of two equally proud and consistent cuisines in their own right. Thankfully it works with Bistro Gitan going a long way to nourishing what customers look for in “whole experience” dining.
The menu here is quite the read. Without being overly confusing there are enough dishes to get your attention, but them something else takes your eye.
Not to begin with a start would be a shame in such a restaurant with seafood being a fine way to begin the evening. Shucked oysters or Prawns Beignet are worth a try. Pepper berry with Chicken liver Parfait is a winner.
For those who choose to go all-in French the Escargot is at the top of the wish list with the Croque Monsieur a close second.
Small servings are a welcomed touch for those who want to order a variety of dishes, or simply wish to have a smaller meal.
If you gravitate to a smaller plate or want sharing ideas to enable everyone to try something, there’s no better way.
The Charcuterie is a must for such purposes or go for the smaller Steak Tartare with beetroot and Taro chips. Elect for the Lamb shoulder if you are a meat lover. Served with spring vegetables, it is a filling and complete meal diners may not wish to share.
If appetites prevail among a larger gathering or where diners have a party of two, the mains are somewhat larger, much to the delight of the forever hungry.
The selection of beef cuts seems popular and their accompaniments fitting well into the realm of any French traditionalists in the house. Steak Frites, Duck Breast with plum sauce grab attention as does the fish selection with their perfect combination of flavours.
Poultry lovers are not forgotten with many choosing the Spatchcock with the tempting mustard crust.
Sides for everyone are available and they are certainly not a forgotten addition to the meals at Bistro Gitan.
A rotating menu of the specials adds to the interest and removes any of the boring and “been there done that” realities that can accompany those who dine out regularly.
Speaking of specials, be sure to check out the Blackboard. You never know what could become your next favourite.
These offerings are seasonal, fresh and in no way are a bridesmaid at this establishment.
Having staff navigate what can be a wine minefield is excellent for diners who want something suitable but are not versed in the artistry and knowledge of a sommelier.
Let staff take the reins on that one and simply enjoy.
The same can be said of the dessert options.
Ask for guidance and make it an end of meal pleasant surprise.
It would seem like Bistro Gitan has become a favourite among locals and a must-go restaurant for those visiting town.
A win-win in anyone’s eyes.
Diners wanting a relaxed, inviting restaurant that doesn’t appear to express any airs and graces to deter the average customer would probably put Bistro Gitan on their preferred list at some stage.
Where: 52 Toorak Road West, South Yarra VIC.
Cuisine: French, Mediterranean, Spanish
Bookings: Ph: (03) 9867 5853
Wanting a bit of French flair in your life? Head off the Bistro Gitan when in Melbourne and be sure to take along your Good Food gift card. Check out the selection of eateries in your neighbourhood.